When a relationship becomes rocky, divorce might not be the answer for a number of reasons. Whether it is because two spouses want time to hash out their differences or simply cannot divorce due to financial reasons, a separation agreement might be an adequate option to alleviate tension.
Separated spouses are still legally married, but the agreement can provide for some of the aspects of a divorce, including spousal maintenance. If you are considering separation, a discussion with a skilled family law attorney could be in order. A qualified Hamilton County separation agreements lawyer could advise you on the terms of the agreement and explain how the separation might impact your life moving forward.
There are various differences between separation agreements and divorces. It is important to understand that legal separation is more than two married individuals living apart. Separation is a legal distinction similar in many ways to divorce. In fact, a separation agreement could set out many of the same factors decided in a divorce case like property division, child custody, or spousal support.
The major difference between these options is permanence. Once a divorce is finalized, a couple is no longer legally married. While the terms of the divorce decree do still apply, the legal protections that exist for all married couples will no longer be applicable.
However, with a legal separation, the couple remains married. Although they live apart, they retain many of the rights of a legal couple, including the ability to stay on a spouse’s health insurance policy.
The process of filing for a separation agreement in Hamilton County is very similar to the process of pursuing a divorce, which is why it is important to retain a skilled attorney. One of the spouses must file paperwork with the court formally seeking a separation agreement and serve a copy of the proceeding on their spouse. The court ultimately hears the request and makes determinations about child custody and other issues as needed.
The reasons for separation vary from one couple to another. However, many people choose a separation agreement over a divorce for similar reasons.
First and foremost, separation could be the right option for a couple who is undecided on divorce. This is essentially a “trial separation” that allows a couple to decide if the marriage can be saved. During this separation, the parties may enter into a legally binding agreement regarding issues such as spousal support and child visitation.
Other couples might choose separation over divorce for religious reasons. For those who share a faith that frowns on or forbids divorce, a separation could be a viable option to step away from a bad relationship.
Many separations are based entirely on financial motives. For example, a person with chronic illnesses might prefer separation as opposed to divorce to stay on their spouse’s health insurance. In other cases, the tax benefits of remaining married could be substantial enough that a legal divorce might not be in anyone’s best interest. A Hamilton County attorney could advise a couple on what a separation agreement could mean for them and their specific circumstances.
Before you begin the process of divorcing, consider if legal separation might instead be right for you. In many cases, a separation is a faster and more appropriate way to address the challenges in a relationship.
Let a Hamilton County separation agreements lawyer advise you on your next steps. Call immediately for a private consultation.